Future Nissans, machine learning hiring, VW’s LCV success – the week

After some difficult years, Nissan Motor is slowly returning to form. As with the Infiniti division, now that it’s profitable again, the main focus is the launch of so many overdue new models. A new report on Just automatic this week looks at what’s coming soon and later in the 2020s.

Some parts of the world invest more in machine learning roles than others. Asia-Pacific was the fastest-growing region for machine learning hiring from automotive companies in the three months ended May. The number of positions in Asia-Pacific accounted for 10.7% of total machine learning jobs – up from 6.8% in the same quarter last year. That was followed by Europe, which saw a 3.5 percentage point year-over-year change in machine learning roles. The figures are compiled by Just automatic parent company GlobalData, which tracks the number of new job openings from key companies in various sectors over time. These vacancies are then classified thematically using text analysis.

Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge reported more than doubling profits for H1 for which the T6.1 and T7 models can take much of the credit. While the demand for VW’s ID models is undeniably growing, they have not yet managed to surpass the Golf, Passat, T-Roc, T-Cross or Transporter/Multivan in the brand’s home country. Is that surprising? Although the examination of the CBA data for January 1-30 June may reveal these kinds of facts, the pure numbers cannot explain the reasons. And the picture is sure to change by the end of the year, as shortages of chips and other components for the latest, more digitally powered cars from VW and other brands become less of an issue.

Toyota is working on concept technology to track down occupants of abandoned cars. According to the child safety organization Kids and Cars, 23 children died of heat stroke in the United States in 2021 after being left unattended in vehicles. Depending on conditions, studies have shown that the inside of a vehicle can reach 125 degrees Fahrenheit in minutes, even with outside temperatures as low as 60 degrees. In light of this, Toyota Connected, a software and innovation center, recently introduced its ‘Cabin Awareness’ concept technology. In practice, the technology uses millimeter wave high-resolution 4D imaging radar to detect vehicle occupants, including pets, who have been left in the vehicle and potentially at risk. The concept technology has the unique ability to detect micro-movements such as movement, breathing and heart rate of the occupants. The platform can also classify vehicle occupants based on size, position and posture.

The popularity of in-vehicle tech means that value is increasingly measured by experience per mile (EPM) rather than RPM. As the automotive sector delivers experiences previously better known in consumer technology, the Experiences Per Mile Advisory Council developed the ‘EPM Index’. This metric evaluates the in-vehicle experience and is intended to help consumers make purchasing decisions, while also making it easier for automotive players to understand changing consumer demands. EPM Advisory Council member Tom Rivers, vice president of global automotive marketing at Harman International, explains.

Will the wheels come from Tesla’s Cybertruck? Tesla’s sci-fi-inspired Cybertruck pickup generated huge hype for the brand when it was first shown in November 2019. With the company now expected to push the pickup’s target launch date at the end of 2021 by at least two years. miss, the long-awaited but still elusive model has become something of a millstone around Tesla’s neck. Adding to the misery is the fact that battery-electric pickup rivals no longer exist just on paper, but are now made and delivered into the hands of customers. Ford has already confirmed that it has raised its production forecasts for its new F-150 Lightning BEV pickup, while the Rivian R1T and GMC Hummer EV are fast stitching the luxury end of the segment. We also expect battery-electric versions of the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and RAM 1500 to arrive earlier than the Cybertruck, meaning Tesla’s challenger will enter a crowded market, rather than one he hoped to have all to himself.

Toyota has reported a 42% year-over-year decline in quarter-on-quarter operating profit in the fiscal first quarter (quarter to the end of June) as performance came under pressure from supply shortages and higher costs. However, Toyota left its full-year operating profit forecast unchanged at 2.4 trillion yen, unchanged from previous forecasts and also plans to produce 9.7 million vehicles this year. Operating income for the quarter was 578.6 billion yen, about 42.0% lower than last year. However, sales revenue increased by 7% to 8.5 trillion yen, driven by positive price effects and the weaker yen.

The US light vehicle market performed broadly in line with recent results in July, according to LMC Automotive, a leading automotive forecasting and market intelligence company, now a GlobalData company. Still constrained by meager inventories, July volumes were 1.13 million units, slightly weaker than expectations going into the month. Compared to July 2021, sales were down 11.6% – only the 10.2% decline in January was better so far in 2022, although last July was also hampered by the chip shortage. July sales of 1.13 million units were just 2,000 units lower than in June, while the sales percentage improved slightly for the second month in a row to 13.3 million units.

Tata Motors’ Jaguar Land Rover has opened a new facility to test development vehicles for electrical and radio interference. The Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) laboratory at the carmaker’s Gaydon R&D campus in England’s West Midlands will ensure future vehicles comply with current and future legislation and quality standards for connectivity and electronics. Launched last May, the redesigned Range Rover Sport was the first vehicle to undergo a bespoke testing program at the new facility.

In the first six months of this year, ZF achieved sales of €21.2 billion (2021: €19.3 billion), an increase of 10 percent compared to the same period last year (5 percent was due to currency effects ). Adjusted EBIT was €851 million (2021: €1.0 billion), corresponding to an adjusted EBIT margin of 4.0 percent (2021: 5.2 percent).

Lucid Motors is halving its estimated production total for the full year 2022 to 6,000 to 7,000 units after supply chain issues plus manufacturing and logistical issues escalated, a media report said. Lucid halved its production estimate to 6,000 to 7,000 vehicles after encountering several manufacturing and logistical issues. The company delivered just over 300 vehicles in the first quarter and 679 in the second, said Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson. However, when the company tried to increase production speed, it started to run into several problems.

Nikola Corporation reported Q2 2022 revenue of $18.1 million from shipments of 48 Tre BEVs and four mobile charging trailers (MCT). The luxury EV startup increased liquidity to $841.8 million in the second quarter from $794 million at the end of the first quarter of 2022. It also raised $200 million in a private placement of convertible bonds during the quarter. The company posted an adjusted net loss in the second quarter of $0.25 per share. Net loss was $173 million, compared to $143 million in the second quarter of 2021.

Nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor, Just Auto

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